Going abroad or not - Advice needed

randoid's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 26

First time poster, long time lurker needing help with deciding whether to go abroad or not. I am a rising Junior majoring in Finance, and I am trying to decide whether I should go abroad to Paris or not. These are my questions:

1) If I dont go abroad, I can do a double major in Accounting as well. I guess I would even go as far as to say that I enjoyed my Financial Accounting intro course. Does this help at all, or am I wasting my time double majoring and risking lowering my current GPA (3.90)?

2) Do all BB have accelerated interviews for IB SA? Do accelerated interviews in any way help/impede your chances?

3) Im scared that by going abroad once again (already went abroad to another European city this past semester, where I did a politics minor), it will show a lack of interest in Finance, as I would be taking business and not finance classes in Paris. What do you think?

Thanks for your help in advance.

Comments (13)

Jun 8, 2010

Are you serious? Go. Business shows interested in finance, and companies prefer well-rounded kids to people who only focus on finance. From my experience the kids with sports, fraternities, other random cool things got more offers and interviews than kids who did finance internships and were finance their whole life, who were considered kind of "toolish", might depend if you go to a target or not though

Jun 8, 2010

Thanks for your reply, I really appreciate it. I go to Stern, and it seems WSO is divided whether its a target or semi-target.

Jun 8, 2010

Wow Stern is definitely a target but probably hard to break in because everyone wants to go into banking. 3.9 is outstanding though, especially from a deflated place like Stern. I think either way you'll get many interviews, go if you think you'll have fun (which you will), it will only help you

Jun 8, 2010

I would recommend going abroad, too. If you can take classes in finance and econ in France, it would be even better. If I were an interviewer, I would be more impressed with a person full of experiences than one which all he/she has is internships. Plus, if you are into banking, financial and at most managerial accounting are sufficient for an entry level kid. Good luck.

Jun 8, 2010

Again, thanks for the advice. Im still concerned about the whole accelerated interview during the fall part, and I cant seem to find anything about them online. Do most BB offer them, and are they easier or harder than the regular interview route? How exactly do they work?

Jun 8, 2010

what's the name of the French school ?

Jun 8, 2010

Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, aka Sciences Po

Jun 8, 2010

Ok you should go then ;)
IEP Paris's Master in Finance & Strategy is definitely targetted by BB and French Banks in France and in the UK.
During my internship in Paris, I worked with 3 or 4 students from there.

Jun 8, 2010

Great to hear, thanks. I think I may have been a bit unclear though, I am going abroad this coming spring, so optimally I would like to have secured a SA position this fall before I leave. Does anyone know anything about accelerated interviews in NY during the fall?

Jun 8, 2010

kinda unrelated to your query, but hey what the hell.

dude if you do go, try to make it at least somewhat authentic. this will mean not just doing what everyone else does. not just hanging out with other americans. not just getting trashed in the same five american bars, etc. not just doing whatever mediocre thing that ever one else does and forges his/her french/swiss/european experience with.

i would say >95% of people who go for a study abroad semester do so because they live their lives off a checklist, and this is an item on said checklist...or on someone else's checklist (so you better do it too or you'll be missing out, right?). first off, they go just because they don't want to feel left out, and because they (basically) want to make their identities cooler. then, they think they'll have some amazing cultural experience. but that doesn't happen if you don't go out of your way to make it happen. it's too easy to do what everyone else is doing. which is nothing. and then they come back and you never hear the end of how well they now know europe (casual references to some patisserie on some street - likely the only patisserie name they remember), and a rejuvenated sense of self-identity. though they know nothing. that experience could have been had with a week's vacation. but they have another check mark on their checklist. phew! glad i did that. so desperately glad i got that off my chest, would've regretted it forever if i didn't go (sit and do nothing). truly au fait now! the same sad thing happens later when they go for a 6 month or one year transfer to another office...checklist mentality, checklist life.

i do agree, though, that if you start off from 0, even that one semester of doing nothing (but doing it abroad) can be a worthwhile experience.

and if you are sincere about it, as some people are, it can be more than just worthwhile.


(ps - i've lived in europe, US, asia, for 6+ years each, so my rant is not based on my own missing out on said experiences, but just the contrast i've observed between the checklist travelers vs the spontaneous ones)

Jun 8, 2010

Islandoffmorocco, I couldn't agree more. I feel I myself am sort of doing that already: I'm born and raised in Sweden, and just recently moved to the US to go to college. I already went abroad one semester to Berlin and am planing on going abroad to Paris to become fluent in French (making me fluent in 5 languages).

That being said, from what I've gathered from M&I as well as WSO, IB seems to be very much about this "check list" you speak of. You go to a good college, you network, PWM sophomore summer, IB SA junior summer, etc etc. Now while I am all for personal development - something I've been prioritizing in previous endeavors (I've already taken a year off to go traveling before college for instance) - I now feel I have to focus on the future. In the case of IB, I feel that it entails following the cookie cutter.

Simply put, going to Paris to perfect my French would for me not be following the IB checklist, but rather, deviating from it. My aim with this post was to figure out exactly how much I would be deviating from the IB path, and how it would affect my future chances in IB.

Sidenote: Still no one knows anything about how accelerated interviews in the fall work?

Jun 8, 2010

^ and my advice, obviously, does not apply to you. because of your cultural profile, and because you're going to france to perfect your french (and not to be able to tell your friends, etc.). and even if it did apply, how does it matter anyway? i was just ranting. (it does apply to a lot of people though...)

i fully concede the point that ib (or mbb or whatever - life in general) has become all about the checklist mindset. and that's the way to go i suppose. it's kind of sad.

someone help him out with his accelerated interviews question...

Jun 8, 2010